Best Jukebox - 2013
Boat Bar is a dark, affable little hipster dive whose name you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere on its bright-red exterior. You have to guess it once you're inside, using clues like the life preserver hanging on the wall, the drooping pirate flag, and the stuffed squid holding court behind the cash register. One place where it doesn't stay genre-pure, thankfully, is the glorious jukebox, which is mostly made up of mix CDs with hand-lettered track lists. Someone is clearly a big fan of vintage soul and r&b. You'll find lots of regal, sadly obscure ladies like Barbara Lynn and Linda Lee, alongside the obligatory Kills and Velvet Underground every Brooklyn bar is legally required to play. In a time when soulless electronic jukeboxes are eating every bar in the city, Boat's is a glorious anachronism.